Britain’s largest union, Unite, welcomed today’s (Wednesday 17 December) release from prison of the final three members of the Miami Five and hailed the perseverance of their wives and campaigners across the world who fought for their release.
The release of Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramon Labañino from American prisons follows the release of Alan Gross by Cuba as part of a ‘prisoner swap’ and marks moves to ‘normalise’ relations between the United States and Cuba.
Commenting, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This historic move is the culmination of years of campaigning by the wives of the Miami Five and campaigners across the globe.
“It is difficult to imagine not seeing your children grow up or seeing your family properly for over a decade. That has been the story of the Miami Five and their unjust imprisonment, of missed years and a continual fight for justice.
“The Miami Five’s plight has been an issue close to the heart of Unite and its predecessor unions. Their release owes much to the energy of former Unite general secretary Tony Woodley, who has campaigned tirelessly for the Miami Five to be reunited with their loved ones after years of imprisonment.
"Special thanks must also go to Leo W. Gerard and the United Steelworkers union (USW), the Teamsters and the SEIU for the important role they played in the campaign to release the Miami Five.
“Their release today shows what can be achieved through solidarity and perseverance, and will see families torn apart not just in Cuba, but in the United States brought together again after years of heartache.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.